Medical responder class starts

St. John Ambulance has launched B.C.’s first blended, online and in-class, emergency medical responder (EMR) course.

St. John Ambulance has launched B.C.’s first blended, online and in-class, emergency medical responder (EMR) course.

Students can prepare for a career in emergency and pre-hospital care.

EMR training with St. John Ambulance provides fundamental medical training for those entering pre-hospital emergency care and emergency response occupations such as paramedicine, fire and rescue services, law enforcement, emergency medical services, and industrial workplace response.

It equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be the first on the scene – to help sustain life, reduce pain, and minimize the consequences of injury, trauma, and sudden illness.

EMR training is now being offered in Vancouver, with Vernon, Nanaimo, Penticton, Victoria and Fort St. John scheduled for fall program deployment.

“The ability to help someone in distress, in a moment that might be the darkest and most terrifying of their lives – is a pretty incredible feeling,” said Laurence Cheng, an active-duty paramedic in B.C.

“It’s just a feeling that money can’t buy.”

As the standard prerequisite for more advanced paramedic training, EMRs play an integral role in B.C.’s emergency health system (EHS).

Several remote industries, such as oil and gas exploration, as well as recreational settings, are also turning to EMRs as the preferred or default level of training for on-site medical services.

Remote and First Nations communities could also benefit from having EMR-trained residents to ensure more timely emergency response.

As one of British Columbia’s leaders in advanced occupational first aid training, St. John Ambulance has designed a blended EMR program that combines 30 hours of guided online study with 70 hours of hands-on, in-class training.

By offering the flexibility of a guided online learning component with in-class training primarily focused on practical skills, students spend one week less in-class than in competing programs.

Plus, the course is the only provincewide 10-day, in-class, EMR program with no prerequisites.

St. John Ambulance’s EMR instructors have extensive hands-on experience in pre-hospital care and medical response, from paramedicine to firefighting.

With several other EMR providers experiencing waiting lists for their programs, St. John Ambulance also hopes to supplement the need for critical pre-hospital and emergency care training.

Skills that St. John Ambulance EMR students will learn include the following:

• Multiple casualty incidents and incident command;

• Vehicle stabilization and patient extrication;

• Pulse oximetry and blood glucose;

• Pharmacology and drug administration;

• Psychological and crisis interventions;

• Agricultural and industrial emergencies;

• Oxygen therapy and airway management;

• Traumatic injury management;

• Severe bleeding management;

• Spinal management;

• Pediatric emergencies;

• Legal issues;

For more information, visit


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